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Joan Baez, Neil Young and George A. Romero Among Toronto Performers

Joan Baez, Neil Young and George A. Romero Among Toronto Performers

The 34th Toronto International Film Festival has announced a series of free outdoor events at Yonge-Dundas Square that will take place during the September 10-19, 2009 event, featuring special appearances by George A. Romero, Neil Young, Joan Baez, Jonathan Demme and more. Continuing on from last year’s events, the Festival will reach out to audiences with more free programming, taking the TIFF experience “beyond the cinema.”

“We are thrilled to be showcasing a diverse and dynamic array of programming in the heart of Toronto, Yonge-Dundas Square,” said Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Festival, in a statement. “YDS will be the new street-level hub of Festival activity with a sensational programme of free events. Whether you’re a Festival veteran or looking for your entry point to the Toronto International Film Festival, there’s something for everyone.”

The schedule includes daily events such as the TIFF In Concert film series, featuring an eclectic mix of music-themed films, and TIFF Shhh!, screening classics from the silent film era with live accompaniment. The TIFF YDS Spotlight series provides something for everyone, including concerts galore, a roller derby exhibition, yodelling, swing-dancing lessons, a Toronto Zombie Walk and much more. The celebrations come to a close with the outdoor Festival Wrap Party on Saturday, September 19, with the world premiere of Copyright Criminals, followed by a concert featuring the Eclectic Method, Clyde Stubblefield, and other special guests. .

TIFF Live from Yonge-Dundas Square 2009 Schedule, with descriptions provided by the festival:

Daily – lunchtimes and some evenings TIFF In Concert – concert and musical films, including, Woodstock, Stop Making Sense, Rattle and Hum, The Last Waltz, Don’t Look Back, Ziggy Stardust, Shut Up & Sing, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man and The Harder They Come.

Weekdays TIFF Shhh! – silent films including Tillie’s Punctured Romance, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, It, Steamboat Bill Jr. and The Busher. All features showing at YDS will be preceded by a selection of short films from the National Film Board of Canada, the Festival’s City to City programme, and other music-themed shorts by Canadian filmmakers.

TIFF YDS Spotlight Opening Night: Thursday, September 10 starting at 7 p.m. A live satellite feed from the Opening Night Gala at Roy Thomson Hall, followed by our headline live set with DJ Champion.

Friday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. Spotlight concert featuring the stars of the Canadian rock’n’roll vampire comedy Suck; performers TBA.

Saturday, September 12 at 2 p.m. The TIFF Kids Zone – offering fun for children of all ages, including face-painting, green-screen activity and more.

Saturday, September 12 at 3 p.m. To celebrate the premiere of George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead in Midnight Madness, The Toronto Zombie Walk: Special Director’s Cut Edition arrives at YDS with a special appearance by legendary director George A. Romero. This event will conclude with a free screening of his 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead.

Saturday, September 12 at 4 p.m. To showcase the Gala Presentation Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, noted poet and author Sapphire reads from her body of work in an event hosted by director Lee Daniels.

Sunday, September 13 at 4 p.m. Fans can catch a roller derby exhibition featuring the Toronto Roller Derby League and stars from the film Whip It.

Sunday, September 13 at 9 p.m. Spotlighting The Topp Twins, the Festival presents a concert by New Zealand’s top yodelling comedy duo with host Elvira Kurt.

Monday, September 14 at 8 p.m. Director Jonathan Demme hosts the North American premiere of The Neil Young Trunk Show, featuring an appearance by Neil Young himself.

Tuesday, September 15 starting at 7 p.m. Swing lessons and a live concert by the Kings of Swing in honour of the Russian musical Hipsters.

Thursday, September 17 at 8 p.m. Performance, rock show, installation and film screening: cutting edge New York artist Adam Pendleton’s BAND refashions Sympathy for the Devil, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1968 film paean to the Rolling Stones and the Black Panthers, into a contemporary art happening that places the celebrated indie art-rock/post-punk band Deerhoof at the centre of the action. This event is presented as part of Future Projections.

Friday, September 18 at 6 p.m. The world premiere of American Masters – Joan Baez, featuring a short concert by Joan Baez.

Saturday, September 19 starting at 7 p.m. The world premiere of Copyright Criminals followed by the Festival Wrap Party. The Festival Wrap Party, presented as part of Future Projections, will feature the infectious live, improvised audio visual mash-ups of Eclectic Method. The renowned trio will thrill film and music lovers with a live video remix set incorporating clips from the films included in The Essential 100, the opening show of TIFF Bell Lightbox. Special guests include Clyde Stubblefield and others.

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